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POETS, COURTESANS, AND MONKS               133

it, if the abbot would permit her to borrow the clapper used for beat-
ing time during the singing of litany. So Tungpo gave the girl these
]ines to sing:

"Holy Father, I do not know what to say,

Being not conversant with your way.
May I borrow the door rapper and litany clapper?

Kindly take this in a spirit of fun.
A maiden's stolen glance should cast no blemish,
Please, Your Reverence, be not so squeamish.
For if you were my age, I might be all your rage.*
As it is, no harm is done."

.It was strictly a one-man comic opera, and even the austere Tatung
laughed. Su Tungpo came out with the girl and boasted to the others
that they had learned a great "lesson in the mysteries". *

It is not possible to separate monks from women, at least not in
Chinese literature. The stories of monks are olten stories of women
and the stories of women are often stories of monks. For East and
West, there is a secret grudge among lay people against a special class
of celibates who announce to the world that they have no sex life and
are different from the generality of mankind, and it is this secret
grudge against celibates that underlies the popularity of the stories of
Boccaccio. Besides, a monk's affairs with women make a better story
than a business-man's.

As a judge, Su Tungpo had once to adjudicate a case involving a
monk. There was a monastic brother at the Lingyin Temple, by the
name of Liaojan, who frequented the red-light district and fell madly
in love with a girl named Shiunu. In time he spent all his money and
was reduced to rags, and Shiunu refused to see him any more- One
night in a drunken fit he went to call on the girl again, and being
refused admittance, he forced his way in, beat the girl, and killed her.
The monk was therefore being tried for murder. In examining him
the officers found on his arm a tattooed couplet: "May we be born
^together in Paradise, and not suffer the love pangs of this life!" After
the completion of the investigation the evidence was submitted to Su
Tungpo. Su could not resist writing the sentence in the form of a light
verse:

"Away from here, you bald-head daisy!
In vain you took the vow of celibacy,
Reduced yourself to this ragged shape
By your unmonkish profligacy.
By your cruel fists you killed your love.